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Gracie: One-Month Review

Gracie has made wonderful progress with us during this past intense and eventful month.

She is intelligent, alert and inquisitive.. oh, and then there is her energy level, often past the point of acceptable behavior. These very attributes make her the precious creature she is.

They also point to trouble, when combined in the form of an untrained adolescent.

We were caught off-guard, flat-footed, unprepared for her arrival that day. What were we thinking!? We overlooked the sense that "very frisky" meant Hyperactive, and "her foster dad is working on potty training" meant Untrained. Well, you know, I had fallen in love with that first and only picture of Raven, as she was known to some. And yes, well, we had agreed that we wanted an older, somewhat sedate dog. But... fools rush in where wiser souls refrain.

It's really our own fault, not any defect in the dog. We were not prepared for her arrival, in any minimally acceptable sense. We hadn't even talked about where she would eat and sleep. We hadn't modified the garage, we hadn't discussed access to different rooms and their limits. Really disgraceful for new owners not to have a hospitable environment prepared for their new family member. I hope foster parents do better than we have.

Our scramble to compensate for all the things we had overlooked, and correct new mistakes we were making, has certainly confused and retarded Gracie's adjustment, and I am sorry for that.

We are now clearly on the right path, with some workable solutions to several problems.

Equally clearly, all our best efforts will not be sufficient to give Gracie the skill set that she-- and we-- need now to continue her education effectively.

As I said in my post yesterday, I am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. My methods haven't been effective enuf quickly enuf, and diminishing returns have set in.

So we need a new Chief Trainer.

I'll leave it at that for now. To be continued within a matter of hours.


Two days later: High frustration with leash and potty training. Nice time playing ball. Tolerates Alex's car/condo better than mine. I think I have finally diagnosed and fixed this morning; we'll see on our next trip out. Meanwhile, my back has gone out. I felt tell-tale twinges yesterday, but finished the job today with lunges and leash-fighting. More soon.


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